Recently, the Toronto Blue Jays were mentioned as a possible trade destination for Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India.
On the surface, the idea makes sense, right? The Blue Jays, fresh off striking out on Shohei Ohtani, are looking for some offensive firepower to pair with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. The Jays also lost Matt Chapman, Kevin Kiermaier, Whit Merrifield, and C.J. Cron to free agency.
But is India really the right fit for Toronto? While Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall should kick the tires on any potential trade that would upgrade the team, this idea seems a bit far-fetched.
Why the Reds trading Jonathan India to the Blue Jays just doesn't make any sense
Jonathan India is coming off his second consecutive injury-plagued, subpar season. After bursting onto the scene in 2021 and grabbing National League Rookie of the Year honors, an array of injuries have seen India's performance take a tumble the past two seasons.
As a rookie, India hit .269/.376/.459 with 21 home runs and 69 RBI. However, from 2022-2023, India has posted a slash line of just .246/.333/.394 and has appeared in 222 of a would-be 324 games (68.5-percent).
Furthermore, Jonathan India's defense at second base has been among the worst in baseball. India has committed 34 errors in three seasons with a fielding percentage of .974. According to Baseball Savant, India has been worth -23 outs above average (OAA) during his first three big league seasons.
Merrifield and fellow second baseman Cavan Biggio are not elite defenders, but looking at India to supplant them at the keystone would likely see Toronto's defense take a step back.
There's also the fact that India is right-handed hitter; something the Blue Jays roster is already full of. Bo Bichette, Alejandro Kirk, George Springer, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are all bat from the right side. It would seem reasonable to assume that Toronto would be looking for left-handed hitter to help balance out the roster.
Other teams, like the Seattle Mariners, would seem to be a much better fit for Jonathan India. But as far as Nick Krall is concerned, it's not about the other club, but his own. If the Cincinnati Reds do intend to trade India this offseason, Krall will obviously be focused on the return.
The Reds have maintained that they're not shopping India this winter, but teams continue to call. Cincinnati's plethora of infielders would allow for such a subtraction, but the Reds also like the increased depth of keeping India on the roster heading into 2024.